October 30th, 2012
If you have kids, you probably have been dealing with them planning their Halloween costume since last April. Unfortunately, this years, we’re forecast to have a bit of rain. So don’t hesitate to recommend wearing a sweater under that costume, otherwise, it will be a short trip out, and then just as quickly, they will be begging to go back out since they don’t want to miss out.
Make rule number one that everyone has to walk, not run. Rule number two is to stay together. Rule number three is no eating any candy until you get home and let a responsible adult look through the candy. If they cannot follow these rules, then you will take them home right away. And then follow through. These three are probably the most important rules.
Make sure the child has eaten a healthy meal and uses the bathroom before getting into their costume. Nothing brings tears faster then a costume that got grease or tomato stains before everyone can see them in it.
Have each child carry something that lights up such as a lantern, glow bracelets or light up shoes.
Do not cross the street between cars. Try to stick to well lit corners and crosswalks. If this isn’t possible in your neighborhood, stay together, be very aware of cars, and cross in a group.
Plan your route in advance and review it in the daylight for potential hazards. Sometimes, the street gets torn up, or there’s a sidewalk that has been pushed up because of a tree root. Additionally, consider working out with a neighbor having a “bathroom break” along the way if you intend to be out for more than an hour.
Be in a familiar area. Some kids prefer to go to neighborhoods where there are more houses rather then apartments because some people with houses convert their garages into haunted houses. And that is a lot more fun. But again, check the area in daylight first.
Avoid costumes that drag on the ground as they could trip a child, or get caught on bushes.
Pick costumes that are bathroom friendly.
Make sure any mask allows full visibility and breathing. Don’t hesitate to cut larger holes if needed.
Only carry flexible props that won’t cause injury if the child accidentally falls on it.
Only trick or treat at houses that are lit (or are obviously creepily lit for atmosphere). If the house has off porch lights, the residents do not want to participate, and the kids should respect that.
Keep track of time, and don’t trick or treat after 9pm, unless your neighborhood has a special understanding.
If you don’t have kids but enjoy passing out candy and being delighted by the costumes, here are some tips for making it safer for them to visit your home.
Ensure that you have a well lit door, and make the house appear inviting.
Clear the walkways of debris and other objects. Also, consider moving hoses, flower pots, extension cords, etc. out of the way.
Provide packaged candy rather then homemade treats. Most parents will not let their children keep anything that looks homemade or tampered with.
Secure your pets. You don’t want Fluffy running outside, and kids certainly don’t want an animal running at them.
First, no matter what, drive slowly through neighborhoods. Don’t be in a hurry. Also, if you’re an adult going to an adult party, ensure that you have a designated driver.
Second, do consider looking into safe trick or treating events that towns and shopping malls host. It could be a better and safer experience if your neighborhood isn’t the best for trick or treating.
What was your favorite Halloween costume?